Every trip to England, Warwick Castle is on my wishlist. We drive past it on the route to Cadbury World, which we have visited many times, but never seem to make it to Warwick Castle. This trip, we made a detour on our way home from Cadbury World and spent the afternoon at Warwick Castle.
Warwick Castle is amazing, but unfortunately, we didn't visit under ideal conditions. We arrived late in the day, when so many of the tours, shows, and demonstrations were unavailable. I was especially disappointed to miss the Birds of Prey show. Additionally, the interior of the castle was closing early, due to a wedding, so we were rushed through. I could have easily spent triple the amount of time we had, exploring the inside of the castle. I would have loved to have taken a proper tour. Being winter, it was very chilly, and as a family, we were tired from spending the morning at Cadbury World. We were also crashing from our sugar rush (the chocolate freebies are plentiful at Cadbury World) and in desperate need for "real food."
Although Cadbury World and Warwick Castle are located near each other, they should not be combined in a single day of touring. Warwick Castle deserves more than the two hours we gave it, and we should have arrived much earlier in the day. We also should have spent the night on site, they have multiple types of facilities, including glamping in a medieval themed village. I'm not a fan of roughing it, but I suspect that glamping could be my speed. Hopefully we will return for a visit during a future summer vacation.
England has a lot of castles and Warwick Castle is one of the more traditional, "fairytale looking" castles. It's nearly a thousand years old and in great shape. One of the positives about arriving late in the day, is Dan was able to take amazing afternoon and sunset pictures.
This is one of the largest trebuchets in the world. This medieval weaponry, used in sieges, is a recreation, not an original. Warwick Castle has trebuchet demonstrations, which of course we missed.
Now this is an unusual sign.
Warwick Castle has a very cool hedge maze. It's called the Horrible Histories Maze, and as the name implies, it's themed to terrible historical events, such as World War Two, the plague, and medieval torture. This is going to sound strange, but it's a family friendly maze. and the "Horrible Histories" are told with a blend of factual information and comedy. It's clever and fun.
Our quick breeze through the castle interiors, led us through the grand hall, where we learned that Warwick Castle has one of the best displays of equine armour. Who knew? We also saw the dining hall, bedrooms, parlors, a chapel, et...many of the exhibits included creepy, life-like mannequins that alternatively freaked-out and fascinated the kids.
Speaking of interiors, Warwick Castle is run by Merlin Entertainment, the people responsible for The Dungeon in London, an immersive walk-through attraction that I'm far too chicken to visit. At Warwick Castle they also have a dungeon, with live actors. It's an additional fee with a timed entry and not suitable for kids under ten. Even though Zoe and Felix are both under ten, I think they'd likely be more brave than their stepmom!
I'm going to close with my favorite pictures. Dan took these by the river, when the light was just perfect.